Peter Zhang refutes claims he acted as a player agent while at TSM
TSM Peter Zhang
Photo by Oshin Tudayan/Riot Games

Peter Zhang refutes claims he acted as a player agent while at TSM

The former TSM head of player development shares his side of the story
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The former head of player development for TSM, Zhang “Peter Zhang” Yi, released a tweet on Wednesday refuting claims made in an article by Dexerto that he acted as an international agent for Chinese players on TSM.

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Peter Zhang said that while he had helped transfer money to the agent of TSM Academy Support Wang “Yursan” Sheng-Yu, it was only due to the difficulties in sending money between the United States and China.

“I have never taken any amount of players earnings as agent fee or helping them go to TSM,” he said in the TwitLonger.

This response comes after an announcement that Peter Zhang was terminated by TSM for an alleged “conflict of interest” last Friday. The subsequent Dexerto article outlining the “alleged financial irregularities” cited two main reasons for his termination: acting as an agent and requesting money from his players.

Peter Zhang denied the first claim, saying he never went to Chinese players that were shortlisted for TSM’s roster and offered to be represent them in exchange for a place on the team, as the article suggested. He also outlined the selection process for the players on the 2022 TSM and TSM Academy rosters.

Peter Zhang said he had put forward the names of promising Chinese players and, even though the org went with some of his selections, he was not involved in the decision or the subsequent negotiations.

“They decide to go Chinese players,” he said. “I helped and gave suggestion, but I never decided anything myself.”

Peter Zhang confirms he owed money to SwordArt

Peter Zhang also clarified and acknowledged his fault in asking players and friends for money to pay back a debt owed to Hu “SwordArT” Shuo-Chieh. He confirmed he had in fact sold SwordArt’s car without SwordArt’s knowledge to pay for his grandmother’s surgery.

“I was embarassed [sic] to ask Swordart for help at first and thought I could just pay him back later,” Peter Zhang wrote. “He discovered that I had sold the car and asked me to pay him back now.”

When SwordArt found out, Peter Zhang asked for loans to pay him and pay for additional medical expenses for his grandmother. He wrote he has since paid back and apologized to everyone involved.

Finally, Peter Zhang addressed some of the behind-the-scenes issues in the ongoing performance woes of their main League of Legends roster. On the whole, he describes TSM as a different environment than it once was, when he felt he could reach talk to others about coaching or game problems.

“Now it feels like everyone is angry or scared about something and there is no one to help,” he said. “Everyone want to just blame each other. Mingyi “Spica” Lu didn’t bench Wei “Shenyi” Zi-Jie and everyone from community blaming him, but no one from TSM help him. I don’t know if I should say something on twitter because maybe I get fired or punished.”

Peter Zhang added that TSM could have easily responded to the apparently erroneous claims made by Dexerto, but speculated that it might have been better for the org to let the blames rest firmly on him. He ended the TwitLonger by wishing the best for the young Chinese players, Shenyi and Zhu “Keaiduo” Xiong.

“My time at TSM has been great, but this year was especially hard,” he said. “I wish the players all the best.”

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Coby Zucker
Coby Zucker is Upcomer's resident CS:GO writer. He's also played League of Legends at the collegiate level and is a frequent visitor in TFT Challenger Elo. He's a firm believer that Toronto should be the next big esports hub city.